IN the halcyon days of the amateur era – a time before the corporate types in smart suits and branded ties got their claws into our rugby clubs – life was simple.
The rugby hierarchy in England was pretty much decided by which town or city had access to the strongest policemen and farmers.
These rugged local heroes spent their working days in the fields and streets surrounding the pitch they gave their all on come Saturday afternoon. Their reward was little more than a pasty and all the ale they could quaff in the clubhouse bar.
The players, proudly decked out in club blazers and ties, would then drink alongside the fans until the small hours. In Worcester’s case, the crest proudly adorning the barrel chests that made the blazers strain at the seams depicted the city’s famous emblem, the three black pears.
To this day, the iconic badge remains the symbol of Worcester Rugby Football Club and an intrinsic link to the Faithful City.
While club stalwarts will get misty-eyed as they reminisce of these days of yore, that is exactly what they are now – the past.
On August 26, 1995, the IRB declared the start of professionalism in rugby union and the game was to change forever. Rugby clubs became businesses with shareholders and profit margins.
Nowadays, as with any successful business, rugby clubs need to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. With that in mind, Worcester Rugby Club morphed into Worcester Warriors and the process of creating a new ‘brand identity’ began.
Worcester Rugby Football Club has a proud history stretching all the way back to 1871 and no-one can take that away. Worcester, the city, will always be linked to the black pear, but whether or not the famous fruit is displayed on the Warriors shirt, I couldn’t care less.
At the recent supporters’ evening, the club’s response to the subject was: “There are no current plans for three pears to return”.
Hopefully, this clear commitment to the current logo can put the tedious topic to bed for good.